It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, when Albertsons replaced its Catalina coupon printing machines with a new system designed to print coupons right at the bottom of your receipt. Instead, the aborted plan ended with hard feelings, disappointed customers and a flurry of litigation.

Albertsons shoppers may have long since moved on, but one of the resulting legal disputes has only just now come to an end. Albertsons and Quotient Technology have jointly agreed to dismiss the lawsuit that Albertsons filed in a California state court, and the countersuit that Quotient filed in response.

“We are pleased to have reached a settlement with Albertsons and look forward to continuing our work in 2023 to deliver value for advertisers, retailers and consumers alike,” Quotient CEO Matt Krepsik said in a statement to Coupons in the News. Albertsons did not respond to requests for comment.

It was three years ago when Quotient announced it was launching a new “targeted in-lane promotions” service, with Albertsons as its first customer. The service offered coupons similar to those offered by Catalina, but printed at the bottom of your receipt instead of from a separate printer. In order to provide Quotient’s new coupons, Albertsons ended its relationship with Catalina.

Then Albertsons decided to end its relationship with Quotient – and take its former business partner to court.

Albertsons’ lawsuit accused Quotient of botching the new coupon program. Quotient “experienced consistent problems with its In-Lane Tool,” the lawsuit read. As a result, Albertsons said Quotient fell short of its revenue targets, and breached its contract by failing to pay its partner some $5 million Albertsons said it was owed.

Quotient responded with its own breach-of-contract countersuit, saying Albertsons was the one at fault for botching the program. “Technology failures” on Albertsons’ end prevented Quotient’s coupons from printing, Quotient alleged, which impacted its ability to sell the program to manufacturers. Quotient also accused Albertsons of giving the program little time to succeed before giving up. “Albertsons did not even install In-Lane in (all) stores where self-checkout was available until May 2020, and then discontinued it for self-checkout lanes in all of its stores in September 2020” – just four months later, Quotient’s countersuit read.


The end of the Albertsons-Quotient partnership effectively ended Quotient’s in-lane coupon program altogether. Despite promises to offer receipt-printed coupons to other retailers, Quotient quietly ended the program instead.

With neither side offering details about the resolution of their dispute, it’s not known whether the two simply agreed to disagree and call it a draw. Regardless, the end of the lawsuit and countersuit would appear to close the chapter on Quotient’s in-lane coupon program for good.

Well, almost.

Jilted coupon provider Catalina is still pursuing its own lawsuit against Quotient, accusing the company of torpedoing Catalina’s longstanding relationship with Albertsons by offering an inferior product at “illegal, predatory, below-cost pricing.” Quotient countered that Catalina’s “desperate” arguments were “nothing more than an accusation that Quotient has vigorously competed on pricing – and won.”

There’s been no indication as yet that this dispute is heading for a resolution. A tentative trial date has been set for November of this year.

So who’s really won so far? Catalina lost a major retail client. Quotient’s hope of launching a competitive in-store coupon product was a bust. Albertsons placed a bad bet in dumping a sure thing for an untested product. Hundreds of brands have lost the ability to reach Albertsons shoppers with coupons printed at the checkout. And millions of shoppers at thousands of stores now get no in-store coupons at all.

With Albertsons and Quotient voluntarily resolving their dispute, you could say that neither side lost. But that means neither side won, either. And the real losers could end up being customers who once looked forward to getting checkout coupons at Albertsons – and now find themselves paying full price.

Image source: Albertsons

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